Live Review: Willaris K. 17th May 2018
Willaris K. @ Northcote Social Club 17/5/18
Words by Caleb Scanlon.
Photos by Tiana Koutsis.
Unique. Intense. Sweaty. – Willaris K. is at the forefront of the Australian electronic music scene and his live shows are no exception.
There was an undeniable buzz surrounding Willaris K.’s second Melbourne show. The 24-year-old producer from Northern New South Wales has made a name for himself after selling out all of his shows across Australia, while also playing at Listen Out, Strawberry Fields, Splendour in The Grass and Coachella. There’s a reason so many, including myself, are naming him “The future of Australian electronica” and BBC Radio 1’s Pete Tong identified him as “the next big thing to watch from Australia.”
His dark electronic sound somewhat resembles Jon Hopkins but is still something entirely unique. A packed crowd had gathered at the Northcote Social Club on a Sunday night and from the get-go, WIllaris K. brought an energy onto the stage that was quickly reciprocated by the crowd. You would be forgiven for thinking that it was his first show of the tour, not his last.
The crew behind his light show – Colourblind Lights Australia – put on a visual masterpiece that worked hand-in-hand with the music. It was like watching ‘Blade Runner 2049’ at Imax, drawing on deep blues and purples contrasted with warm reds and oranges. The strobe light seemed to stay on for longer than it was off and they may need to issue a seizure caveat before his next next show.
His latest single ‘Risen’ came in after an extended sci-fi themed intro. The seven-and-a-half-minute slow burner’ heavy bass certainly woke up the crowd, if not the surrounding Northcote neighbourhood.
His next song was a remix of Exhibitionist’s song ‘Hands’ about 40 minutes into his set. The crowd was ecstatic and bounced along, despite the underlying sinister sound that the song hums. This was relieved immediately after with his softest single – ‘River Song’. The gentle piano took the room from 100 back down to 0.
There was a brief lull in the show shortly after this, with a repetitive disco track allowing for the room to catch its breath before its eventual conclusion. There was a sample of “Let me talk to you” on loop, but just before the audience could lose interest and have said ‘talk’, he blasted the first note of ‘Alchemy’.
Much like Kanye West teasing his audiences with the famous first note of ‘Runaway’, Willaris K. let the crowd beg for the rest of the song. ‘Alchemy’ was his first song to break into major radio rotation and received the biggest response from the audience. It was the first song of his set where he took a break at the end – not to see if the crowd would ask for an encore, but to soak up the warm applause that was being thrown his way.
The night wrapped up with his most popular song ‘Dour Nights’ which upped the energy with an explosion of strobe lights. The crowd was fuelling on adrenaline after the hour and a half long set, yet the exciting build ups and unconventional drops of Dour Nights made it jumping around feel instinctive.
Willaris K.’s EP Alchemy drops on June 8 and he is also set to kick of another national tour in Spring. Get onto him before he blows up, because much like an inflating balloon, it is inevitable.